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1.  Developing clinical rules to predict urinary tract infection in primary care settings: sensitivity and specificity of near patient tests (dipsticks) and clinical scores 
Suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common presentations in primary care. Systematic reviews have not documented any adequately powered studies in primary care that assess independent predictors of laboratory diagnosis.
To estimate independent clinical and dipstick predictors of infection and to develop clinical decision rules.
Design of study
Validation study of clinical and dipstick findings compared with laboratory testing.
General practices in the south of England.
Laboratory diagnosis of 427 women with suspected UTI was assessed using European urinalysis guidelines. Independent clinical and dipstick predictors of diagnosis were estimated.
UTI was confirmed in 62.5% of women with suspected UTI. Only nitrite, leucocyte esterase (+ or greater), and blood (haemolysed trace or greater) independently predicted diagnosis (adjusted odds ratios 6.36, 4.52, 2.23 respectively). A dipstick decision rule, based on having nitrite, or both leucocytes and blood, was moderately sensitive (77%) and specific (70%); positive predictive value (PPV) was 81% and negative predictive value (NPV) was 65%. Predictive values were improved by varying the cut-off point: NPV was 73% for all three dipstick results being negative, and PPV was 92% for having nitrite and either blood or leucocyte esterase. A clinical decision rule, based on having two of the following: urine cloudiness, offensive smell, and dysuria and/or nocturia of moderate severity, was less sensitive (65%) (specificity 69%; PPV 77%, NPV 54%). NPV was 71% for none of the four clinical features, and the PPV was 84% for three or more features.
Simple decision rules could improve targeting of investigation and treatment. Strategies to use such rules need to take into account limited negative predictive value, which is lower than expected from previous research.
PMCID: PMC1874525  PMID: 16882379
clinical scoring algorithms; diagnosis, urinary tract infection; dipsticks
2.  Diagnostic approach to urinary tract infections in male general practice patients: a national surveillance study 
The British Journal of General Practice  2012;62(604):e780-e786.
Diagnostic urinary tract infection (UTI) studies have primarily been performed among female patients.
To create a diagnostic algorithm for male general practice patients suspected of UTI.
Design and setting
Surveillance study in the Dutch Sentinel General Practice Network.
Clinical information and dipstick results were collected from 603 patients. Algorithm-predicted care was compared with care as usual in terms of sensitivity (antibiotic recommended when UTI was confirmed) and specificity (no antibiotic recommended when no UTI was observed).
Complete information was available from 490/603 (81%) males, of whom 66% (321/490) had a UTI. A diagnostic algorithm recommending antimicrobial prescription in the case of a positive nitrite test or a positive leukocyte esterase test in males aged ≥60 years, had a positive predictive value (PPV) of 83% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 78 to 87) and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 60% (95% CI = 52 to 66), respectively (area under the ROC curve: 0.78, 95% CI = 0.74 to 0.82). When both dipstick results were positive in males aged ≥60 years, PPV increased to 90% (95% CI = 83 to 94), whereas NPV was highest in males <60 years with negative dipstick results (71%, 95% CI = 59 to 81). Sensitivity and specificity of predicted UTI care and usual care did not differ (75% versus 79%, P = 0.30, and 70% versus 63%, P = 0.17, respectively).
UTI care provided to Dutch male GP patients is as accurate as predicted care from a diagnostic algorithm. The studied clinical information and dipstick tests are useful for ruling in UTI in males, but have limited value in ruling out this diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3481519  PMID: 23211182
general practice; male; patients; urinary tract infections
3.  The urine dipstick test useful to rule out infections. A meta-analysis of the accuracy 
BMC Urology  2004;4:4.
Many studies have evaluated the accuracy of dipstick tests as rapid detectors of bacteriuria and urinary tract infections (UTI). The lack of an adequate explanation for the heterogeneity of the dipstick accuracy stimulates an ongoing debate. The objective of the present meta-analysis was to summarise the available evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of the urine dipstick test, taking into account various pre-defined potential sources of heterogeneity.
Literature from 1990 through 1999 was searched in Medline and Embase, and by reference tracking. Selected publications should be concerned with the diagnosis of bacteriuria or urinary tract infections, investigate the use of dipstick tests for nitrites and/or leukocyte esterase, and present empirical data. A checklist was used to assess methodological quality.
70 publications were included. Accuracy of nitrites was high in pregnant women (Diagnostic Odds Ratio = 165) and elderly people (DOR = 108). Positive predictive values were ≥80% in elderly and in family medicine. Accuracy of leukocyte-esterase was high in studies in urology patients (DOR = 276). Sensitivities were highest in family medicine (86%). Negative predictive values were high in both tests in all patient groups and settings, except for in family medicine. The combination of both test results showed an important increase in sensitivity. Accuracy was high in studies in urology patients (DOR = 52), in children (DOR = 46), and if clinical information was present (DOR = 28). Sensitivity was highest in studies carried out in family medicine (90%). Predictive values of combinations of positive test results were low in all other situations.
Overall, this review demonstrates that the urine dipstick test alone seems to be useful in all populations to exclude the presence of infection if the results of both nitrites and leukocyte-esterase are negative. Sensitivities of the combination of both tests vary between 68 and 88% in different patient groups, but positive test results have to be confirmed. Although the combination of positive test results is very sensitive in family practice, the usefulness of the dipstick test alone to rule in infection remains doubtful, even with high pre-test probabilities.
PMCID: PMC434513  PMID: 15175113
4.  Rapid tests and urine sampling techniques for the diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI) in children under five years: a systematic review 
BMC Pediatrics  2005;5:4.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common sources of infection in children under five. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is important to reduce the risk of renal scarring. Rapid, cost-effective, methods of UTI diagnosis are required as an alternative to culture.
We conducted a systematic review to determine the diagnostic accuracy of rapid tests for detecting UTI in children under five years of age.
The evidence supports the use of dipstick positive for both leukocyte esterase and nitrite (pooled LR+ = 28.2, 95% CI: 17.3, 46.0) or microscopy positive for both pyuria and bacteriuria (pooled LR+ = 37.0, 95% CI: 11.0, 125.9) to rule in UTI. Similarly dipstick negative for both LE and nitrite (Pooled LR- = 0.20, 95% CI: 0.16, 0.26) or microscopy negative for both pyuria and bacteriuria (Pooled LR- = 0.11, 95% CI: 0.05, 0.23) can be used to rule out UTI. A test for glucose showed promise in potty-trained children. However, all studies were over 30 years old. Further evaluation of this test may be useful.
Dipstick negative for both LE and nitrite or microscopic analysis negative for both pyuria and bacteriuria of a clean voided urine, bag, or nappy/pad specimen may reasonably be used to rule out UTI. These patients can then reasonably be excluded from further investigation, without the need for confirmatory culture. Similarly, combinations of positive tests could be used to rule in UTI, and trigger further investigation.
PMCID: PMC1084351  PMID: 15811182
5.  Evaluation of the Prevalence of Urinary Tract Infection in Rural Panamanian Women 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47752.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common non-intestinal infection worldwide. In the developed world, incidence and prevalence of UTI would be similar owing to the relatively short duration of illness experienced by women with ready access to healthcare services. We hypothesize that, in the developing world, factors limiting access to care and those which may increase the likelihood of developing UTI, result in increased morbidity. This difference is reflected in an increased prevalence of UTI in regions where women suffer the effects of UTI for extended periods of time.
This study represents a cross sectional analysis of UTI prevalence in rural western Panama conducted over the course of a 3-day medical mission. All women 18–45 years of age reporting to the medical brigade clinic were tested for UTI by dipstick urinalysis and a brief history regardless of whether they themselves were presenting with a complaint.
UTI was diagnosed clinically by providers in 29.8% of the women tested although only 21.15% of these same women met the evidence-based study criteria. This prevalence of 21.15% is seven times greater than reported by the Panamanian Ministry of Health. When comparing the effectiveness of clinical diagnosis relative to urinalysis by dipstick, a Kappa coefficient revealed only low moderate agreement (0.42; SE 0.0955).
The prevalence of UTI in rural western Panama is greater than would be expected based on prevalence data from either the US or Panamanian Ministry of Health and may represent an opportunity for targeted interventions, including educational programming about UTI prevention.
PMCID: PMC3477127  PMID: 23094080
6.  Urinalysis and Urinary Tract Infection: Update for Clinicians 
Dysuria is a common presenting complaint of women and urinalysis is a valuable tool in the initial evaluation of this presentation. Clinicians need to be aware that pyuria is the best determinate of bacteriuria requiring therapy and that values significant for infection differ depending on the method of analysis. A hemocytometer yields a value of ≥ 10 WBC/ mm3 significant for bacteriuria, while manual microscopy studies show ≥ 8 WBC/high-power field reliably predicts a positive urine culture. In cases of uncomplicated symptomatic urinary tract infection, a positive value for nitrites and leukocyte esterase by urine dipstick can be treated without the need for a urine culture. Automated urinalysis used widely in large volume laboratories provides more sensitive detection of leukocytes and bacteria in the urine.With automated microscopy, a value of > 2 WBC/hpf is significant pyuria indicative of inflammation of the urinary tract. In complicated cases such as pregnancy, recurrent infection or renal involvement, further evaluation is necessary including manual microscopy and urine culture with sensitivities.
PMCID: PMC1784655  PMID: 11916184
7.  Response to antibiotics of women with symptoms of urinary tract infection but negative dipstick urine test results: double blind randomised controlled trial 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7509):143.
Objective To assess the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment of women with symptoms of urinary tract infection but negative urine dipstick testing.
Design Prospective, double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial.
Setting Primary care, among a randomly selected group of general practitioners in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Participants 59 women aged 16-50 years presenting with a history of dysuria and frequency in whom a dipstick test of midstream urine was negative for both nitrites and leucocytes. Participants with complicated urinary tract infection were excluded.
Intervention Trimethoprim 300 mg daily for three days or placebo.
Main outcome measures Self reported diary of symptoms for seven days, recording the presence or absence of individual symptoms each day, followed by a structured telephone questionnaire after seven days. The main clinical outcome was resolution of dysuria at three and seven days and median time to resolution. Secondary outcomes were resolution of other symptoms.
Results The median time for resolution of dysuria was three days for trimethoprim compared with five days for placebo (P = 0.002). At day 3, five (24%) of patients in the treatment group had ongoing dysuria compared with 20 (74%) in the placebo group (P = 0.005). This difference persisted until day 7: two patients (10%) in the treatment group v 11 (41%) in the placebo group; P = 0.02). The number needed to treat was 4. The median duration of constitutional symptoms (feverishness, shivers) was reduced by four days.
Conclusions Although a negative dipstick test for leucocytes and nitrites accurately predicted absence of infection when standard microbiological definitions were used (negative predictive value 92%), it did not predict response to antibiotic treatment. Three days' treatment with trimethoprim significantly reduced dysuria in women whose urine dipstick test was negative. These results support the practice of empirical antibiotic use guided by symptoms. Balancing the competing interests of symptom relief and the minimisation of antibiotic use remains a dilemma—further research is needed to determine clinical predictors of response to antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC558702  PMID: 15972728
8.  Asymptomatic urinary tract colonisation predisposes to superficial wound infection in elective orthopaedic surgery 
International Orthopaedics  2008;33(3):847-850.
There is no evidence surrounding the benefits, effects or clinical outcomes treating asymptomatic urinary tract colonisation. A series of 558 patients undergoing elective admission for orthopaedic surgery were recruited prior to surgery and were screened for urinary tract infection (UTI). Patients had their urine dipstick tested and positive samples were sent for culture and microscopy. Patients with a positive urine culture were treated with antibiotics prior to surgery; 85% of dipsticks tested were positive, while only 7% of the urine samples were culture positive. Over 36% of patients with a pre-operative UTI show some form of post-operative delayed wound healing or confirmed infection versus 16% in the other subgroup giving a relative risk of wound complications of 2:1 (p < 0.02). We have established that patients who present to pre-admission with urinary tract colonisation are a high risk subgroup for wound infection post-operatively.
PMCID: PMC2903079  PMID: 18521600
9.  The diagnosis of urinary tract infections in young children (DUTY): protocol for a diagnostic and prospective observational study to derive and validate a clinical algorithm for the diagnosis of UTI in children presenting to primary care with an acute illness 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:158.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is common in children, and may cause serious illness and recurrent symptoms. However, obtaining a urine sample from young children in primary care is challenging and not feasible for large numbers. Evidence regarding the predictive value of symptoms, signs and urinalysis for UTI in young children is urgently needed to help primary care clinicians better identify children who should be investigated for UTI. This paper describes the protocol for the Diagnosis of Urinary Tract infection in Young children (DUTY) study. The overall study aim is to derive and validate a cost-effective clinical algorithm for the diagnosis of UTI in children presenting to primary care acutely unwell.
DUTY is a multicentre, diagnostic and prospective observational study aiming to recruit at least 7,000 children aged before their fifth birthday, being assessed in primary care for any acute, non-traumatic, illness of ≤ 28 days duration. Urine samples will be obtained from eligible consented children, and data collected on medical history and presenting symptoms and signs. Urine samples will be dipstick tested in general practice and sent for microbiological analysis. All children with culture positive urines and a random sample of children with urine culture results in other, non-positive categories will be followed up to record symptom duration and healthcare resource use. A diagnostic algorithm will be constructed and validated and an economic evaluation conducted.
The primary outcome will be a validated diagnostic algorithm using a reference standard of a pure/predominant growth of at least >103, but usually >105 CFU/mL of one, but no more than two uropathogens.
We will use logistic regression to identify the clinical predictors (i.e. demographic, medical history, presenting signs and symptoms and urine dipstick analysis results) most strongly associated with a positive urine culture result. We will then use economic evaluation to compare the cost effectiveness of the candidate prediction rules.
This study will provide novel, clinically important information on the diagnostic features of childhood UTI and the cost effectiveness of a validated prediction rule, to help primary care clinicians improve the efficiency of their diagnostic strategy for UTI in young children.
PMCID: PMC3575241  PMID: 22812651
Urinary Tract Infection; Children; Primary care; Point-of-care-test; Dipstick test; Near-patient testing; Diagnosis; Economic models
10.  Diagnostic accuracy of UriSed automated urine microscopic sediment analyzer and dipstick parameters in predicting urine culture test results 
Biochemia Medica  2013;23(2):211-217.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common types of infection. Currently, diagnosis is primarily based on microbiologic culture, which is time- and labor-consuming. The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of urinalysis results from UriSed (77 Electronica, Budapest, Hungary), an automated microscopic image-based sediment analyzer, in predicting positive urine cultures.
Materials and methods:
We examined a total of 384 urine specimens from hospitalized patients and outpatients attending our hospital on the same day for urinalysis, dipstick tests and semi-quantitative urine culture. The urinalysis results were compared with those of conventional semi-quantitative urine culture.
Of 384 urinary specimens, 68 were positive for bacteriuria by culture, and were thus considered true positives. Comparison of these results with those obtained from the UriSed analyzer indicated that the analyzer had a specificity of 91.1%, a sensitivity of 47.0%, a positive predictive value (PPV) of 53.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 40.8–65.3), and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 88.8% (95% Cl = 85.0–91.8%). The accuracy was 83.3% when the urine leukocyte parameter was used, 76.8% when bacteriuria analysis of urinary sediment was used, and 85.1% when the bacteriuria and leukocyturia parameters were combined. The presence of nitrite was the best indicator of culture positivity (99.3% specificity) but had a negative likelihood ratio of 0.7, indicating that it was not a reliable clinical test.
Although the specificity of the UriSed analyzer was within acceptable limits, the sensitivity value was low. Thus, UriSed urinalysis results do not accurately predict the outcome of culture.
PMCID: PMC3900068  PMID: 23894867
urinalysis; bacteriuria; sensitivity; specificity; urinary tract infection
11.  Asymptomatic bacteriuria in sickle cell disease: a cross-sectional study 
It is known that there is significant morbidity associated with urinary tract infection and with renal dysfunction in sickle cell disease (SCD). However, it is not known if there are potential adverse outcomes associated with asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) infections in sickle cell disease if left untreated. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of ASB, in a cohort of patients with SCD.
This is a cross-sectional study of patients in the Jamaican Sickle Cell Cohort. Aseptically collected mid-stream urine (MSU) samples were obtained from 266 patients for urinalysis, culture and sensitivity analysis. Proteinuria was measured by urine dipsticks. Individuals with abnormal urine culture results had repeat urine culture. Serum creatinine was measured and steady state haematology and uric acid concentrations were obtained from clinical records. This was completed at a primary care health clinic dedicated to sickle cell diseases in Kingston, Jamaica. There were 133 males and 133 females in the sample studied. The mean age (mean ± sd) of participants was 26.6 ± 2.5 years. The main outcome measures were the culture of ≥ 105 colony forming units of a urinary tract pathogen per milliliter of urine from a MSU specimen on a single occasion (probable ASB) or on consecutive occasions (confirmed ASB).
Of the 266 urines collected, 234 were sterile and 29 had significant bacteriuria yielding a prevalence of probable ASB of 10.9% (29/266). Fourteen patients had confirmed ASB (prevalence 5.3%) of which 13 had pyuria. Controlling for genotype, females were 14.7 times more likely to have confirmed ASB compared to males (95%CI 1.8 to 121.0). The number of recorded visits for symptomatic UTI was increased by a factor of 2.5 (95% CI 1.4 to 4.5, p < 0.005) but serum creatinine, uric acid and haematology values were not different in patients with confirmed ASB compared with those with sterile urine. There was no association with history of gram negative sepsis.
ASB is a significant problem in individuals with SCD and may be the source of pathogens in UTI. However, further research is needed to determine the clinical significance of ASB in SCD.
PMCID: PMC1434754  PMID: 16539735
12.  Predicting acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection in women: a systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy of symptoms and signs 
BMC Family Practice  2010;11:78.
Acute urinary tract infections (UTI) are one of the most common bacterial infections among women presenting to primary care. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding the optimal reference standard threshold for diagnosing UTI. The objective of this systematic review is to determine the diagnostic accuracy of symptoms and signs in women presenting with suspected UTI, across three different reference standards (102 or 103 or 105 CFU/ml). We also examine the diagnostic value of individual symptoms and signs combined with dipstick test results in terms of clinical decision making.
Searches were performed through PubMed (1966 to April 2010), EMBASE (1973 to April 2010), Cochrane library (1973 to April 2010), Google scholar and reference checking.
Studies that assessed the diagnostic accuracy of symptoms and signs of an uncomplicated UTI using a urine culture from a clean-catch or catherised urine specimen as the reference standard, with a reference standard of at least ≥ 102 CFU/ml were included. Synthesised data from a high quality systematic review were used regarding dipstick results. Studies were combined using a bivariate random effects model.
Sixteen studies incorporating 3,711 patients are included. The weighted prior probability of UTI varies across diagnostic threshold, 65.1% at ≥ 102 CFU/ml; 55.4% at ≥ 103 CFU/ml and 44.8% at ≥ 102 CFU/ml ≥ 105 CFU/ml. Six symptoms are identified as useful diagnostic symptoms when a threshold of ≥ 102 CFU/ml is the reference standard. Presence of dysuria (+LR 1.30 95% CI 1.20-1.41), frequency (+LR 1.10 95% CI 1.04-1.16), hematuria (+LR 1.72 95%CI 1.30-2.27), nocturia (+LR 1.30 95% CI 1.08-1.56) and urgency (+LR 1.22 95% CI 1.11-1.34) all increase the probability of UTI. The presence of vaginal discharge (+LR 0.65 95% CI 0.51-0.83) decreases the probability of UTI. Presence of hematuria has the highest diagnostic utility, raising the post-test probability of UTI to 75.8% at ≥ 102 CFU/ml and 67.4% at ≥ 103 CFU/ml. Probability of UTI increases to 93.3% and 90.1% at ≥ 102 CFU/ml and ≥ 103 CFU/ml respectively when presence of hematuria is combined with a positive dipstick result for nitrites. Subgroup analysis shows improved diagnostic accuracy using lower reference standards ≥ 102 CFU/ml and ≥ 103 CFU/ml.
Individual symptoms and signs have a modest ability to raise the pretest-risk of UTI. Diagnostic accuracy improves considerably when combined with dipstick tests particularly tests for nitrites.
PMCID: PMC2987910  PMID: 20969801
13.  Disappointing dipstick screening for urinary tract infection in hospital inpatients. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1998;51(6):471-472.
AIM: To compare the performance of leucocyte esterase and nitrite dipstick tests with microscopic examination and culture of first morning urines (n = 420) of hospital inpatients. RESULTS: The sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive value of the leucocyte esterase test for the cutoff of > 10 WBC/microliter were 57%, 94%, and 68%, respectively. For > 5 WBC per high power field (HPF) these variables were 84%, 90%, and 93%. For > 10(5) colony counts/ml, the sensitivity of the nitrite test was 27%, specificity 94%, and negative predictive value 87%. When either leucocyte esterase or nitrite positivity was accepted as a marker of urinary tract infection, the sensitivity was 78%, specificity 75%, and negative predictive value 94%, and there were 22% false negative results. Semiquantitative microscopic estimation of bacteria per HPF yielded 40% false positives. CONCLUSIONS: Leucocyte esterase and nitrite dipstick tests are not suitable for screening for urinary tract infections.
PMCID: PMC500752  PMID: 9771448
14.  Evaluation of a screening test for detecting urinary tract infection in newborns and infants. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1991;44(12):1029-1030.
The results of a study of a screening test for urinary tract infection (UTI) in infants under 18 months is reported. Two hundred and forty three urine specimens were tested in the laboratory using AMES Multistix 8SG reagent strips read by photometer. The strips included three potential markers for urinary tract infection: leucocyte esterase, nitrite, and protein. The predictive value of a positive result (PPV) was low. The predictive value of negative test (NPV) when combining the screen of leucocyte esterase, nitrite, and protein was 99.4% with no difference between boys and girls. The test for leucocyte esterase had a 97.6% negative predictive value. An examination of the results by age confirms the good NPV in all age groups. Paediatricians should find Multistix 8SG strips a useful aid in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection in infants, and that costly culture of samples with negative strip tests can be avoided.
PMCID: PMC494975  PMID: 1791205
15.  Evaluation of the Leukocyte Esterase and Nitrite Urine Dipstick Screening Tests for Detection of Bacteriuria in Women with Suspected Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1999;37(9):3051-3052.
A positive dipstick urinalysis (i.e., leukocyte esterase test and/or nitrite test) did not reliably detect significant bacteriuria in 479 ambulatory women with suspected uncomplicated urinary tract infection; 18.9% of the urine samples that demonstrated significant bacteriuria would have been rejected by the laboratory based on a negative urinalysis screen.
PMCID: PMC85454  PMID: 10449505
16.  Urinary tract infections in multiple sclerosis: under-diagnosed and under-treated? A clinical audit at a large University Hospital 
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system. Infections have been implicated in different aspects of the disease such as induction of relapses and possibly, progression. Bladder dysfunction and associated urinary tract colonization (UTC) and infections (UTIs) are common in MS patients. UTIs can exacerbate neurological symptoms in MS, whilst high-dose steroid treatment of acute neurological worsening with concurrent untreated UTC may lead to unmasking of infection. This clinical audit was designed to investigate whether our institution is adhering to the National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) Clinical Guideline 148 for the management of patients with lower urinary tract symptoms due to neurogenic bladder dysfunction. We identified 21 patients with abnormal urine dipsticks out of 118 patients presenting at Nottingham University Hospitals for clinical review or for assessment of a relapse. Patients were asked about catheter status and the presence of any lower urinary tract symptoms. In all cases of relapse assessment, current practice at our institution had been to delay treatment with methylprednisolone (MP), pending the results of microbiology culture and sensitivity testing. If the patient was confirmed to have an infection, treatment with MP was delayed further awaiting completion of a course of antibiotics. We suggest that corticosteroid treatment need not be delayed but rather administered simultaneously with antibiotic treatment for the UTI, provided that the patient has no systemic symptoms of infection (e.g. fever, rigors, raised CRP). Patients must be educated and cautioned to contact their doctor in the event that systemic symptoms do develop during treatment.
PMCID: PMC3960762  PMID: 24660122
Multiple sclerosis; urinary tract infection; relapse; corticosteroids; antibiotic treatment; diagnosis; audit
17.  Effectiveness of five different approaches in management of urinary tract infection: randomised controlled trial 
Objective To assess the impact of different management strategies in urinary tract infections.
Design Randomised controlled trial.
Setting Primary care.
Participants 309 non-pregnant women aged 18-70 presenting with suspected urinary tract infection.
Intervention Patients were randomised to five management approaches: empirical antibiotics; empirical delayed (by 48 hours) antibiotics; or targeted antibiotics based on a symptom score (two or more of urine cloudiness, urine smell, nocturia, or dysuria), a dipstick result (nitrite or both leucocytes and blood), or a positive result on midstream urine analysis. Self help advice was controlled in each group.
Main outcome measures Symptom severity (days 2 to 4) and duration, and use of antibiotics.
Results Patients had 3.5 days of moderately bad symptoms if they took antibiotics immediately. There were no significant differences in duration or severity of symptoms (mean frequency of symptoms on a 0 to 6 scale: immediate antibiotics 2.15, midstream urine 2.08, dipstick 1.74, symptom score 1.77, delayed antibiotics 2.11; likelihood ratio test for the five groups P=0.177). There were differences in antibiotic use (immediate antibiotics 97%, midstream urine 81%, dipstick 80%, symptom score 90%, delayed antibiotics 77%; P=0.011) and in sending midstream urine samples (immediate antibiotics 23%, midstream urine 89%, dipstick 36%, symptom score 33%, delayed antibiotics 15%; P<0.001). Patients who waited at least 48 hours to start taking antibiotics reconsulted less (hazard ratio 0.57 (95% confidence interval 0.36 to 0.89), P=0.014) but on average had symptoms for 37% longer than those taking immediate antibiotics (incident rate ratio 1.37 (1.11 to 1.68), P=0.003), particularly the midstream urine group (73% longer, 22% to 140%; none of the other groups had more than 22% longer duration).
Conclusion All management strategies achieve similar symptom control. There is no advantage in routinely sending midstream urine samples for testing, and antibiotics targeted with dipstick tests with a delayed prescription as backup, or empirical delayed prescription, can help to reduce antibiotic use.
Study registration National Research Register N0484094184 ISRCTN: 03525333.
PMCID: PMC2817051  PMID: 20139214
18.  Management of acute uncomplicated urinary tract infections in general practice in the south of The Netherlands. 
There is debate about the ideal diagnostic procedure for urinary tract infections (UTIs) in general practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate nitrite and leucocyte esterase strip test procedures in general practice patients, and to relate the results to the decision of the general practitioner to prescribe antibiotic therapy. A total of 292 female patients from eight general practices in the Maastricht area, who were aged 12 years or over with complaints suggesting UTI, were included in the study. All eight practices tested fresh urine samples using the nitrite strip test, and seven also used the leucocyte esterase strip test. The positive predictive value of the nitrite test was greater than the leucocyte test. Antibiotic therapy was nearly always prescribed when either or both of these tests were positive. Bacterial culture was positive in 159 (59%) cases, although treatment was started in 70 (27%) cases where there was an absence of significant bacteruria. It was found that the choice of agent used to treat the patient was related to the antibiotic susceptibility of the uropathogens that were isolated.
PMCID: PMC1313681  PMID: 10897517
19.  Validity, Accuracy, and Predictive Value of Urinary Tract Infection Signs and Symptoms in Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury on Intermittent Catheterization 
To determine the validity, accuracy, and predictive value of the signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI) for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) using intermittent catheterization (IC) and the accuracy of individuals with SCI on IC at predicting their own UTI.
Prospective cohort based on data from the first 3 months of a 1-year randomized controlled trial to evaluate UTI prevention effectiveness of hydrophilic and standard catheters.
Fifty-six community-based individuals on IC.
Main Outcome Measures:
Presence of UTI as defined as bacteriuria with a colony count of at least 105 colony-forming units/mL and at least 1 sign or symptom of UTI.
Analysis of monthly urine culture and urinalysis data combined with analysis of monthly data collected using a questionnaire that asked subjects to self-report on UTI signs and symptoms and whether or not they felt they had a UTI.
Overall, “cloudy urine” had the highest accuracy (83.1%), and “leukocytes in the urine” had the highest sensitivity (82.8%). The highest specificity was for “fever” (99.0%); however, it had a very low sensitivity (6.9%). Subjects were able to predict their own UTI with an accuracy of 66.2%, and the negative predictive value (82.8%) was substantially higher than the positive predictive value (32.6%).
The UTI signs and symptoms can predict a UTI more accurately than individual subjects can by using subjective impressions of their own signs and symptoms. Subjects were better at predicting when they did not have a UTI than when they did have a UTI.
PMCID: PMC2792463  PMID: 20025153
Spinal cord injuries; Urinary tract infections; Catheterization, intermittent; Bladder management; Sensitivity and specificity; Predictive value of tests
20.  A study of microscopical and chemical tests for the rapid diagnosis of urinary tract infections in general practice. 
Aids to the rapid diagnosis of urinary tract infection were assessed by the examination of 325 consecutive urine samples taken in the normal course of work in a general practice. Of these samples 103 produced a pure growth of at least 10(5) organisms per ml. The appearance and smell of each sample was noted and it was then tested by simple low-power microscopy of a drop of urine and by a dipstick which measured leucocyte esterase and nitrite, together with protein, blood and pH. In addition, pus cell counts per mm3 were performed on 272 of the samples using a cytometer chamber. This method is too time-consuming for routine use in the surgery. Neither a cloudy appearance nor haematuria were sufficiently specific to be of much use in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection. In the prediction of a 'positive' culture the sensitivity and specificity of the other tests were as follows: drop method microscopy 95% and 76%, respectively; cytometer count 95% and 81%; leucocyte-esterase estimation 89% and 68%; and nitrite 57% and 96%. These figures may underestimate the true values of the tests in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection because infection may be present in some cases producing growths of less than 10(5) organisms per ml. It is concluded that the most useful aid to the diagnosis of urinary tract infection is low-power microscopy of a drop of urine.
PMCID: PMC1371381  PMID: 2271260
21.  Routine urinalysis in renal transplant patients. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1995;48(4):383-384.
The performance of two commercially available urine dipstick tests was evaluated to exclude significant bacteriuria in midstream urine samples from patients attending a renal transplant outpatient clinic. The use of dipsticks to reduce the necessity for routine microscopy and culture was also assessed. Consecutive urine samples (n = 497) from 121 patients were examined for leucocytes, nitrite, and blood with Multistix* 10SG (Ames) and Nephur test (Boehring) dipsticks. All urine samples also underwent routine microscopy and culture. The sensitivities of the Nephur test and Multistix were 83% and 82%, respectively; the specificities were 28% and 40%, respectively; the negative predictive values were 85% and 88%, respectively; and the positive predictive values were 24% and 29%, respectively. Underlying conditions and treatments in renal patients may have led to relatively low sensitivity and positive predictive values. Traditional microscopy and culture methods are more reliable for renal transplant recipients.
PMCID: PMC502562  PMID: 7615863
22.  Cost effectiveness of management strategies for urinary tract infections: results from randomised controlled trial 
Objective To assess the cost effectiveness of different management strategies for urinary tract infections.
Design Cost effectiveness analysis alongside a randomised controlled trial with a one month follow-up.
Setting Primary care.
Participants 309 non-pregnant adult women aged 18-70 presenting with suspected urinary tract infection.
Interventions Patients were randomised to five basic management approaches: empirical antibiotics, empirical delayed (by 48 hours) antibiotics, or targeted antibiotics based on either a high symptom score (two or more of urine cloudiness, smell, nocturia, dysuria), dipstick results (nitrite or leucocytes and blood), or receipt of a positive result on midstream urine analysis.
Main outcome measure Duration of symptoms and cost of care.
Results Management with targeted antibiotics with midstream urine analysis was more costly over the period of one month. Costs for the midstream urine analysis and dipstick management groups were £37 and £35, respectively; these compared with £31 for immediate antibiotics. Cost effectiveness acceptability curves suggested that if avoiding a day of moderately bad symptoms was valued at less than £10, then immediate antibiotics is likely to be the most cost effective strategy. For values over £10, targeted antibiotics with dipstick testing becomes the most cost effective strategy, though because of the uncertainty we can never be more than 70% certain that this strategy truly is the most cost effective.
Conclusion Dipstick testing with targeted antibiotics is likely to be cost effective if the value of saving a day of moderately bad symptoms is £10 or more, but caution is required given the considerable uncertainty surrounding the estimates.
PMCID: PMC2817048  PMID: 20139218
23.  Dysuria on onset of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome in women 
Urology  2006;68(3):477-481.
In an ongoing national study of women to identify risk factors for interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS), dysuria was identified at onset of IC/PBS in a small majority and evidence for urinary tract infection (UTI) was evaluated.
In women with IC/PBS of ≤12 months duration, symptoms and pertinent laboratory tests at onset were assessed by telephone interview and medical record review.
Of 138 cases, 75 (54%) reported that they started to experience burning or pain on urination at onset of IC/PBS. Of those with urines cultured, 12/35 (34%) with dysuria vs. 1/21 (5%) without dysuria yielded a uropathogen (p=.01). Similarly, microscopic WBC and dipstick nitrites and leukocyte esterase were each significantly more common in urines of those with dysuria than those without. Additionally, 7/75 of those with dysuria vs. 1/62 without dysuria reported chills or fever at onset of IC/PBS. Using various definitions, the prevalence of UTI at onset of IC/PBS, at a minimum, was 16 – 33 % of those with dysuria vs. < 2% of those without dysuria (p ≤ .003).
A slight majority of women with IC/PBS reported dysuria at onset of their IC/PBS symptoms. Available laboratory data suggest dysuria may be a sensitive indicator of UTI at onset of IC/PBS; its specificity is as yet undetermined.
PMCID: PMC1626809  PMID: 16979747
interstitial cystitis; painful bladder syndrome; dysuria; burning on urination; bacteriuria; urinary tract infection
24.  Novel Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection—A Systematic Review 
Biomarker Insights  2009;4:111-121.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are associated with significant morbidity. We rely on clinical presentation, urinalysis, and urine culture to diagnose UTI. To differentiate between lower UTI and pyelonephritis, we depend on the clinical presentation. In the extremes of age and in immunocompromised individuals, clinical presentation is often atypical posing a challenge to diagnosis. In the elderly, the high prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria is another confounder. We conducted a search of publications to find novel biomarkers to diagnose UTI and to ascertain its severity. We searched PUBMED, MEDLINE and SCOPUS databases for studies pertaining to novel biomarkers and UTI. Two reviewers independently evaluated the methodology of the studies using the STARD (Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy) criteria. We have identified procalcitonin as a biomarker to differentiate lower UTI from pyelonephritis in the pediatric age group. Elevated serum procalcitonin levels can result in early and aggressive treatment at the time of presentation. Interleukin 6 has also shown some promise in differentiating between lower UTI and pyelonephritis but needs further validation. Lastly, given the paucity of data in certain subgroups like diabetics, kidney transplant recipients, and individuals with spinal cord injury, further studies should be conducted in these populations to improve diagnostic criteria that will inform clinical management decisions.
PMCID: PMC2729697  PMID: 19707519
urinary tract infection; novel biomarkers
25.  Can the Griess Nitrite Test and a Urinary Pus Cell Count of ≥5 Cells Per Micro Litre of Urine in Pregnant Women be Used for the Screening or the Early Detection of Urinary Tract Infections in Rural India? 
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a common problem in pregnancy due to the morphological and the physiological changes that take place in the genitourinary tract during pregnancy. Screening methods may be useful, because a full bacteriological analysis could be reserved for those patients who are symptomatic or those who have positive screening test results. The exact prevalence of UTI in rural, pregnant women is unknown. The present study was undertaken to estimate the prevalence of UTI in pregnant women and for ascertaining the utility of the Griess Nitrite test and the Urinary Pus Cell Count of ≥5 cells per micro litre test for the screening or the early detection of UTI in them at primary health care clinics. Occurrence of urinary complaints was compared in UTI and non UTI women.
We conducted a study on 300 randomly selected, pregnant women from rural areas. Urine cultures, pus-cell counts and the Griess nitrite test were used for diagnosis of UTI. The screening tests for UTI were evaluated in terms of their sensitivity, specificity, Positive Predictive Value (PPV), Negative Predictive Value (NPV) and the percentage of correctly classified.
In the present study, the prevalence of UTI was found to be 29/300 (9.6%, 95% confidence interval 9.57-9.63). The specificities of the two screening tests were comparable (97.05% and 94.47%). Also, the negative predictive values of the two tests were almost similar (97.77% and 96.96%). The percentage of correctly classified by the Griess nitrite test and the urine pus cell count were found to be 95.33% and 92.33% respectively. The proportion of the women with various urinary complaints was significantly higher (P<0.00) in the UTI subjects as compared to that in the non-UTI subjects.
Urine culture remains the gold standard for the detection of asymptomatic bacteriuria. The Nitrite test of uncentrifuged urine was observed to be the best among the screening tests which were evaluated in terms of their efficiency and validity.
PMCID: PMC3527784  PMID: 23285444
UTI; Pregnancy; Rural; Urine Culture; Griess Nitrite test; Screening tests; Urinary Pus cell Test

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